Project Management …. An outlook on the Systems theory based approach

1.0       Introduction

The conception of a “System” could be defined as a complex scenario of communication between two components or the condition having a relationship among them that could permit the identification or exchange of information with certain limits and boundaries or a process oriented approach.  The intervention of social and psychological phenomena tends to resist quantitative modeling and also creating some complexities on the boundary identification and hence there is need for alternative approaches that has to be relied upon. (Patton and Mary McMahon 2006)

It can be stated that the relationship between the system theory and the perception study has a significant role in enabling us to understand the changing nature of cognitive thinking levels. The conceptual framework which could embed our perceptions and the related interpretations and the depth of our awareness and its rise to the consciousness is envisaging a paradigm shift due to the nature where the human relations transform. (Hamilton 1997)

Despite the fact that there were constant efforts to interpret the meaning and significant impact of such changes which are ranging from predictive, empirical, cultural and the post structural instances. In the areas of human endeavor with valuing and also assessing the achievement, the result has been much effective based on the interpretive frameworks and fragmentation of the worldviews. (Tamas 2000)

There could be multiple systems that are engaged in a project and each system or a process has been designed or developed with certain factors estimated as an outcome of such a system. When the multiple systems are being used for the effective services of a project, it is very essential that there is some kind of relationships and the interdependencies that have to be established between various systems and even between various projects. (Laszlo and Stanley Krippner 1997)

The inter relationship between various entities in a project, as the holistic activity of the project could emphasize a rapid change in the scenario if the relationship between the projects are not engaged appropriately. When the systems are not effectively connected, it could impact the outcome of the project. (Laszlo and Stanley Krippner 1997)

Hence there is intrinsic need for the projects to have a coordinated approach between various systems that are being connected to a project or a purpose. If there is lack of facilitation from one system to the other then it could be reflecting a lot on the success of the key project. The lack of coordination can happen for various reasons like the cognitive issues, human intervention, lack of proper connectivity, the external components influencing the project coordination and many other such factors which could highly impact the process. (Hamilton 1997)

There were few systems theories that have been proposed by the researchers, and there is significant improvement  which can are envisaged due to the relativity in the kind of activities that could be performed to ensure that the relativity between the systems are engaged in an effective manner. In this research report the literature review is carried out on the earlier studies that have focused upon the system theories, and an analysis on the insights provided by the earlier researches has been described in this research report. (Tamas 2000)

1.1       Literature Review

In a research study that has been conducted by Alexander Laszlo and Stanley Krippner, the emphasis is more on understanding the origins, evolution and the foundation for the system theories. Such a study is very effective in terms of understanding the need of the systems theories, how the human thinking process has kept changing the need for the betterment in the theories. The study gives a comprehensive outlook on various stages of development of the theories, the changing cognitive thinking and the impact of such on the process of developing and establishing the connectivity between the systems and the course of action that could be used by the organizations for better connection between multiple systems of a project. (Laszlo and Stanley Krippner 1997)

In the research report, the authors state that the complex socio-cultural systems, the cognitive maps of the individuals the form of systems which are natural rather than any kind of artificial systems are very important. It is also emphasized that irrespective of their size, origin and the intensity of the complexness which may not be true in the case of artificial systems could in virtue of fact be governed by the uniform laws and over a period of time. It can be very well understood that the basic properties of the systems can be considered by assessing the behavior which could be in reference the imperatives of the natural systems and the dynamics. (Laszlo and Stanley Krippner 1997)

The focus that has been laid upon the systems design, the need for effective implementation of theories and practices and the evolution of the system design which has been detailed in the project lays its emphasis on how effectively the systems shall be effective for the organization in terms of providing quality inputs to the project and the related systems. In the outlook of the scenario, the focus and the approach has been in the study to evaluate various theories, its evolution, the implementation has a reflective outlook. (Hamilton 1997)

In an another research study that has been carried out by Wendy Patton and Mary McMahon, the study has been focused on the framework of systems theory for the career development and counseling aspect, in effort to have an understanding and connectivity of theory and practice. The topic of the study reemphasizes the fact that irrespective of the area of work, there is advent need for the organizations and individuals to identify relate and practice the system theories towards developing the standards and practices that could help in the overall development scenario. (Patton and Mary McMahon 2006)

In the study the focus and the attempt from the authors are towards emphasizing the fact that the real time scenario like career counseling is a dynamic process and it needs the dynamic thinking process based on the changing trends, the expectations and the needs of the clients, and taking in to consideration the socio political system which is envisaged in the scenario. The study states that the application systems of theory principles can be related to the counseling process and the approach by the companies for the career counselor’s practice shall be facilitate thru the Systems Theory Framework as this will enable the team to understand the changes that are taking place in the scenario and give proper attention to those facets which are to be taken in to consideration.

In another research study that has been carried out by Carlos A. Martínez-Vela, the study had focused upon the understanding of world systems theories and makes an attempt to detail the factors that could help in understanding the need of the organization and the individuals towards understanding the theories and practices. (Martínez-Vela 2001)

The emphasis in his study has been about the theory of Wallerstein and the study details the objectives and the inputs which are to be essential based on the nomothetic and idiographic methodologies to understand the world. The author emphasize that irrespective of the age of the theory, it shall be resourceful to the aspects that has to be covered in terms of ideology and also states that Wallerstein theory work is methodologically is between Marx and Weber, whose work has been the basis for the development of their own work.

In an over view, from the research study it is very evident that the practices and systems are very much related to the co-existence and there is relativity at every level where the systems are being interconnected or the relationships that are being existential between various related aspects or circumstances and one such systems theory or the other might not be considered as a right approach, and depending on the changing dynamics the need for developing the effective systems and process has to be adapted using effective framework. (Johnson, Fremont E. Kast and James E. Rosenzweig 1964)


2.1       Description of the project

The proposed system is about creating a networking system where the public can have cash less transactions that can be carried out any locations. In the current scenario where there are disruptive technologies are changing the way the mobiles phones to smartphones and in the recent developments of mobile wallets and also the retail banking scenario having a significant impact from the ecommerce trends, the proposed project is to create an completely integrated environment, where the public can make transactions using a single passcode authentication for all the transactions without using any cash. (Hamilton 1997)

The systems which are part of the project are

  • Retail shops and the super market transactions
  • E-banking system and the smart payment systems
  • Ecommerce portals and the e-wallets service providers
  • Government regulations and the authority bodies
  • Shops and the local traders
  • The public system network
  • Telecom service providers


Retail Shopping System

There are many shops and supermarkets where the acceptance of the payment for the purchases takes place in the form of accepting the debit cards and credit cards that could be swiped and the amount is remitted to the account of the retailer. However, still there are many people who work on providing cash based transactions too. In the process, there are both cash transactions and also the account transactions that are encouraged by the organizations.

In the proposed model the extension of the service that is expected is that there should be facilitation for the customer to have the purchases from an e-wallet system that could be provided by a banking entity or the mobile service provider or any other such entity that are authorized by the regulatory authorities. For instance when a customer comes to the super market for purchases and do not carry the plastic money or the cash in hand, the customer should be able to provide his passcode for the mobile number and the supermarket should be able to bill the customer for his mobile number.

Telecom Service Providers

The telecom services has envisaged rapid trends of changes and today the  telecom services has become integral part for many business services and the financial transactions. Currently the telecom companies are also providing facility of funds transfer from account to mobile numbers and also mobile to mobile funds transfer. The proposed project is an extend level of the existing service where the customer can go shop in the retail markets or the small convenience stores or on the ecommerce portals and as an alternative for using the credit or debit cards, can use the mobile number for purchases which will be authenticated and approved by the mobile service provider thru OTP authentication.

In overall the cumulative billing value can be added to the monthly billing which is sent to the customer. This kind of extended facility could enable the customers do their shopping or transactions even in the case of not carrying their physical wallets, cash or cards. However the success of this project is related to various factors and the integration to various systems.


2.2       Illustration of Project Systems

In the proposed project of cashless transactions thru alternative modes there are many systems which are briefed and many of those systems are interdependent. There is advent level of integration that is required in order to facilitate such as system.

In the given retail market transaction scenario, there is relativity between the system of the retailer or super market, and it needs the connectivity with various mobile service providers or a common platform of network which connects the mobile network service providers, and the connectivity between banks and the mobile service providers.

In the illustrative of case of an individual making a transaction in the retail store, if have to make the payments thru the mobile number, there is need for a platform where the retailer can take the authentication and approval from the mobile service provider.

Similarly, in the backend unless the mobile service providers have an interconnection to the bank account of the individual, there is risk that the mobile service provider might not be able to receive his money from the customer. Hence there is relativity and interdependency between the banking system, mobile service provider, the retail marketing company or the ecommerce portal or the trading partner.

If there is any kind of lack of coordination in the entire system or between the any two systems then it could impact the entire service approach and could lead to the complexities in the execution of the project.

For instance, if the banking system makes a decision that they shall not settle the dues to the mobile service providers with in the same day or the scheduled transaction settlement time (like T+2 days) etc., then it could be burden on the mobile service provider to engage in the process of facilitating the mobile based payments, and might deny the service, and it could lead to further complexities as the entire system might get disturbed in the scenario.

Hence it is very essential that when the stakeholder systems of the project take the decisions it has to take in to consideration all the key aspects that could impact the systems and the dependent systems which are interconnected for a purpose.

2.3       Process and Techniques of Integration


There are various systems which are key stakeholders of the proposed project or the system. Various entities which are present in the project has many internal issues and factors, despite all it for the need of the project there is phenomenal integration which is required in the system. The Management by Objective plays a critical role in the execution of the entire system. It is very essential that there is an association or the consortium that is formed between the stakeholders of the project relatively like the retailers, banking organizations, mobile service providers and the other regulatory bodies that deal with the legal frameworks of the transactions, have to form together and work the solution of the project.

A strategic approach from the stakeholders using the “Conceptual Tools”, shall be taken up to understand the intrinsic issues involved in the project and based on the conceptualization, every system can prepare or alter or create an medium where it can support the objective of the project without any complexities. The process of management information systems has to be integrated to the entire system in an effective way that every transaction or the process has the real time updates and can facilitate the smooth transaction processing between various stakeholders.

2.4       Influence of External Environment


In spite of having a synchronized approach between the systems and there is relativity between various systems that are required, there is advent need for the project system to be aware of the influences of the external systems. In the defined project metrics, one of the major influences could be the regulatory reforms from the financial regulatory authorities and the law makers. If there is any kind of regulatory influence in terms of taxing the service providers more or defining any limitations on the number of transactions that could be carried out by an individual during a given period, it could impact the entire process to a great extent.

In the other scenario, if the global market conditions are being low and the retail industry or any other system which is part of the system is being in down trends, then it could impact the entire scenario. The other complex factor is the attacks or the miss-use of the system where few of the fraudulence groups take advantage of such systems for cloning the mobile SIM cards or phishing the authentication network then it could adversely impact the project and its objectives.  In overall it can be emphasized that when the project encounters the external challenges, the system should be sound enough to address such challenges.



Project manager has to take many factors in to consideration while taking in to account the project charter, the schedule, execution and implementation. There are various intrinsic issues like the nature of the individual systems, the architecture or the process of each system could be different, simple, complex , and the relationship between various systems also has to be taken in to consideration based on the facets of the tasks and its approaches, the coordination required between various systems also has to be analyzed. The risks factors associated with the project, the influences of the interdependent system issues or the external forces that could impact one or all the systems has to be taken in to account. The systems theories that has been vividly effective in terms of providing a framework that could be adapted based on various conditions could significantly be resourceful to the project managers.

The systems theory like the world systems theory and the Systems theory framework can be very resourceful to the project managers, as it provides them the outlook in terms of understanding how effectively project manager can take the relative issues in to consideration and effectively develop a project charter that could be effective in terms of accomplishing the objectives.



Johnson, Richard A., Fremont E. Kast , and James E. Rosenzweig. “Systems Theory and Management.” Management Science, 1964: 367-384.

Laszlo, Alexander, and Stanley Krippner. “Systems Theories:Their Origins, Foundations, and Development.” Systems Theories and A Priori Aspects of Perception. , 1997: 47-74.

Martínez-Vela, Carlos A. “World Systems Theory.” ESD.83, 2001: 1-5.


Tamas, Andy. “SYSTEM THEORY IN COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT.” 2000. (accessed Dec 04, 2014).


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One thought on “Project Management …. An outlook on the Systems theory based approach

  • September 7, 2016 at 10:44 am

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